The Return Of Indian Motorcycles. Just Another Fashion Statement?

The production of Indian Motorcycles at a manufacturing plant near Charlotte, NC has been postponed to mid-2008. No official explanation provided to me. Can the brand created in 1901 make a comeback? The only thing I know for sure is that the new company (Stellican from London who bought all Indian trademarks) has asked Serge Miska, president of Iconic American Brands, to conceive an Indian Logo line of clothing to be both comfortable and very fashionable Clothing will be based on the use of premium denim and leather with, no surprise, a worn/vintage look. Serge Miska states that "There are literally millions of professionals who are weekend bikers, and they’re not riding in sleeveless T-shirts. They want quality fashion, and we want to give them that." Indian envision its apparel line being sold at upscale department stores, as well as motorcycle dealerships nationwide. The target buyer will be a man between 35 and 55 with an annual income above $150,000. Did you say doctors, lawyers and Google executives? This marketing strategy seems to me to be so year 2000. Indian, we are soon in 2008 and the motorcycle industry has changed quite a bit! Or is it that the Indian brand wants to be a new Tommy Bahama?  

26 Responses to “The Return Of Indian Motorcycles. Just Another Fashion Statement?”

  1. 1 Patrick Soros Oct 30th, 2007 at 10:01 am

    What a bad time for Indian to try to come back. So, where is the new Indian engine? Just a dream?

  2. 2 Dennis Johnson Oct 30th, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    I would love to find out the reason behind the postponement.

  3. 3 Solo Sam Oct 30th, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    That’s funny ! We all know it’s about the ” premium leather jacket ” with the
    ” worn/vintage ” look ! Man I got milk coming out my nose ! I got an idea , send me a new jacket , I’ll wear it for ten years and sell it back to you with that ” worn/vintage ” look !

  4. 4 Ted Brennard Oct 30th, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Who still believe in Indian Motorcycle coming back? Not many…

  5. 5 Johny Old Indian Oct 30th, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Only people belonging to the industry can relaunch Indian. Business opportunists, whatever the amount of money they have, will never understand what it’s all about. They will fail because if you are not a biker you can’t understand bikers.

  6. 6 VTWINGIRL Oct 30th, 2007 at 5:33 pm


  7. 7 MotoCiter Oct 30th, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    They’re hoping no one will notice that they have no motorcycle, and will sell a million $5/cost $39/retail t-shirts to “UpScale” trendy stores before it hits the fan.

    Then in 5 years someone else will by the trademarks off eBay, and do it all over again.

  8. 8 Roger Fieldman Oct 31st, 2007 at 9:11 am

    I went to Indian Motorcycle website. 6 months ago they were asking a deposit of $1000 to reserve a 2008 model. Now, no more 2008 models. They ask $1000 for a 2009 model. So, what’s going on with Indian? Yes, I bet that at this date they have nothing, no bike, no Indian engine. They lose credibility by saying nothing.

  9. 9 Scott Oct 31st, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Just what we need another chain of clothing stores disguised as bike shops. What makes them think people who can’t afford their bikes are going to pay them for the privledge of advertising. My vote is they go down in flames like the folks at OCC when they begin production. Owning a legendary name does not make bikers, it takes bikers to make a legendary name.

  10. 10 Panhead Forever Oct 31st, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Scott. Great post. 2008 prediction (well in advance). OCC goes down and the Teutels go into farming. Indian doesn’t come back and the name is for sale on eBay. Billy Lane gets a plea bargain for 1 year in jail (negotiated the eve of the trial) and while there writes a book about religion. Harley struggles and many dealerships are for sale for the price of the bikes on the floor. Japan becomes the headquarter of Kustom Kulture with many US builders moving there. Russell Mitchell does a Pet Show on TV (he is a licensed vet). Live from Long Beach Jesse James does welding classes . Chica moves back to Japan. The city of Rossmeyer Beach in Florida gets incorporated and has its own fire dept and police station. Easyriders files for bankruptcy. The Horse magazine gets all the advertisers and is now printed on glossy paper. Cyril Huze writes about all this and publishes the news that fit to click!

  11. 11 madpuppy Oct 31st, 2007 at 10:27 am

    One thousand dollars down? for a motorcycle cover with the ” Indian ” logo on it ?. I don`t get it ? just how much is that tarp??.

  12. 12 indian021950 Oct 31st, 2007 at 11:05 am

    To me it doesent matter if indian comes back i own an old indian n a 2002 gilroy deluxe scout. could use some new hats n t shirts tho.

  13. 13 DJ CHOPPER GOD Oct 31st, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Tommy Bahama it is.

  14. 14 Pop Oct 31st, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    I own a Gilroy Indian. Pop isn’t what you would call a Old Rich bikee. Cost me buckets of cash and late nights to get that POS in shape and the skills of a top wrench and a whole bunch of helpful friends.

    It’s a headturner for sure. That’s in stock paint and pretty much factory trim. Those skirts get all the looks. Don’t discount the brand out of hand. The new guys aren’t getting any Christmas cards from me either, but I hope they pull it off. I keep getting told that they are financial wizards and can float the boat.

    The Indian brand is as American as HD and it’s got some great history. As a Harley guy (still got two) and a Indian guy, I’m here to tell you that any competition to Harley makes Harley better and any way that Indian starts, if the machine is solid then it’s market will find it despite what the “lifestyle” marketers and demographic strategists tell you.

    Don’t kick them to the curb before they have shown what they are made of. Once that happens, if it’s just outright foolishness, you can line up behind Pop because I’ll be merciless with my size 11’s.

  15. 15 BOBIT Oct 31st, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    An authentic Indian, yes. A new Indian imitation, never!

  16. 16 Nicker Oct 31st, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Go back 9 or so posts.

    Looks to me like Sugar Bear’s front end is hanging on a fairly reasonable looking Scout.

    So why would turning out new Indians be so difficult…?

    Now selling-em… who knows?


  17. 17 jatinder pal Nov 3rd, 2007 at 2:54 am

    i think indian should start a clothing line not the many times they will try to fool the buyers with same old bike designs.
    they need something revolutionary,if they want to build bikes.


  18. 18 Charlie Lecach Nov 5th, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Indian Motocycle Company
    1901 – 1953

  19. 19 Nicker Nov 5th, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Hay Panhead…..

    “…Teutels go into farming…”

    What do you figure they’re qualified to grow……?


  20. 20 hursttool Nov 12th, 2007 at 1:25 am

    As usual another bunch of uptight, uptown a-holes trying to make a buck off of a damn good American name. Like those losers before who had that guy from Gilroy build the bikes out of a Custom Chrome catalog, another a-hole is trying to do the same. Skirts and fringe don’t a MOTOCYCLE make. The guy from Canada that had the best design I had ever seen for a new INDIAN MOTOCYCLE royally got screwed when the judge gave it to deep pockets and someguy who rebadged a CMC bike with Indian logos. Looks like it happened again.
    When will they ever learn when a legend is a legend,you don’t mess with the motorcycle Gods. Just ask the Hanlons and the new Excelsior-Henderson bike that was a failure.

  21. 21 ANT Jan 12th, 2008 at 12:04 am

    “Patrick Soros Oct 30th, 2007 at 10:01 am

    What a bad time for Indian to try to come back. So, where is the new Indian engine? Just a dream?”

    The engine is a reality, although stellican has nothing to do with it. Check out the V-Plus 100 at

    (with apologies to Cyril if I’m violating any forum rules by posting this)

  22. 22 Bill Payne Feb 26th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I really do not understand all the negative comments directed towards the new manufacturer. I think they should be given a shot at it before everyone bury’s thier efforts. Are these people just HD fans worried about any competition they may encounter? I for one look forward to seeing a new American motorcycle being produced and hope that the manufacturers rise to the challenge of producing a new line of bikes that live up to the Indian name.

  23. 23 John Rodrie Jun 21st, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    You have to love the harley davidson motorcycle co. not only have they managed to stay in buisness for 105yrs. but they make great
    motorcycles to fit the budget of working class americans i mean
    indian was a great motorcycle company, but they went out of buisness in 1953 and that cmc/indian company from gilroy started
    from 1999 to 2003 didn’t last to long,so for this 2009 new indian
    motorcycle co. to start at $30.999 for a standard chief with short fenders is sick. the skirted fenders are an extra $499 bucks? i guess their motorcycles are for the wealthy not your average working class american bikers.

  24. 24 cool10 Aug 21st, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Harley needs competition. See that shit their building lately? Dark Custom? Hahaha.

    34k + for a fucking bobber. Harley has soaked it’s own for a lonnng lonngg time.

    RISE INDIAN RISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. 25 cool10 Aug 21st, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Oh yeah make that 40k+ with chrome.

  26. 26 martin Jul 5th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Well they should bring back the excelsior-henderson,crocker,ace,and maybe make a USA vincent as well,seems like alot of people have a lot of money to spend!

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Cyril Huze